Washington County FL Agrees to Help Fund Fire Apparatus Purchase

Washington County Commissioners (FL) agreed to help Greenhead Volunteer Fire Department purchase a used tanker/firetruck.

The Board of County Commissioners held a special meeting to consider the purchase so the $55,000 firetruck could be bought in a timely fashion. Fire Chief Jim Palmer told the commissioners the Greenhead department had put a binder on the truck and it was being held for them.

Palmer said he had been searching for a truck for the department for two years, and this truck, a combination fire truck and tanker, was just what the department needed.

“The key to success is getting water to the scene,” Palmer said. “We don’t have any hydrants in the south of the county.” Since fire hydrants aren’t available, the rural firefighters have to take their own water to the scene, and keep replenishing that supply.

“The key is having a reliable tanker.” Palmer said the tanker truck the department currently has is a manual transmission and not just anyone can drive it. The truck the department is purchasing is an automatic and is easier to drive. Also, the truck features remote dumping capacity, so that the truck’s water can be unloaded from inside the cab.

“If there is a fire in the daytime, we might just have two people show up,” Palmer said, a hazard all the rural volunteer fire departments face since the majority of the firefighters are working at their daytime jobs.

With the new truck, a smaller crew could respond to a fire and both have tanker capacity and fire fighting tools.

The fire department was seeking $45,000 from the county and would provide $13,850 toward the purchase and other fees. The funds for the truck are budgeted for the Greenhead Fire Department, but Palmer was required to request the money from the board.

The purchase was approved contingent upon a contract waiver,  being brought back to the commissioners at the next meeting for review.

For more information, view www.chipleypaper.com

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